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Author Notes: Created by request for my best friend's mom on her birthday. It took me 2 tries to get the spice blend right but they came out perfect and addictive. Remember to make these on a dry day! —verysmallanna
Serves several dozen
- 1 whole green cardamom pod
- 1 whole clove
- 5 whole allspice berries
- 1 white peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon looseleaf black tea
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 handful cacao nibs
- Preheat the oven to 175F (or 200, or as low as it will go).
- Smash open the cardamom pod and remove the seeds. Grind the cardamom seeds, clove, allspice, peppercorn and tea in a mortar and pestle or a small coffee grinder until well crushed.
- Combine the crushed spice mixture, cinnamon and sugar in a food processor or heavy-duty blender and pulse until everything is powdered. Let the dust settle for a couple of minutes before attempting to remove the lid - your lungs will thank you!
- Start whipping the egg whites in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until you get a foam, then gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until you have a stiff but not dry meringue.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large round or star tip (whichever you like best) and pipe little meringue kisses onto a lined sheet pan.
- Sprinkle the meringues with cacao nibs, then allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes to develop a slight skin.
- Bake for 1 hour, until the meringues are dry on top and somewhat hollow-feeling. Turn off the oven and let them sit for an hour or two as it cools. If you think they may overbake, prop the oven open slightly.
- Once set and cool, you can just pop the meringues off the sheet and keep in an airtight container. Even if it's a little humid, the cacao nibs will help keep them from sticking together.